Welcome to part 3 of the Finding Your Healthy mini series! Be sure to check out Kat’s post from Monday and Hannah’s post from Tuesday! Today we’re talking to Carrie who blogs at This Fit Chick. I’ve been following Carrie’s journey for over 7 years, so it’s been amazing to see her story take shape. I’m so happy she’s sharing it with you all today, so here we go!
*Quick note, we’re getting real today and talking about eating disorders and abuse, so if those things are triggering, please skip this post!*
Hi, I Heart Vegetables readers! My name is Carrie and I’m a nutrition and training coach over at This Fit Chick. I help women achieve their fitness goals without endless hours of cardio and low-calorie diets. Why? Because life is wonderful and I don’t want to spend my life on a treadmill with no sense of excitement around food and four cheese pizza. However, my relationship with food and exercise hasn’t always been great. At age six, I was sexually abused and I struggled for many years with disordered eating habits and bouts of depression to cope with the pain. My journey to self-love has been a long, tough road, but I’ve come out of it with a huge passion for life, love, food, and happiness– something I want all of my clients and readers to achieve too!
How would you define “healthy” and/or how has the definition changed for you over the years?
When I first got interested health and wellness, “healthy” to me meant I had to follow a lot of the current health fads such as clean eating, eating low carb, only eating chicken and broccoli on repeat etc. I’m very happy to say that those days are behind me and now. To me, healthy means having a happy balance between food and exercise in your life. This means that food and exercise don’t define you and they don’t affect your mood and behavior. Instead, food and exercise enhance your life so you feel the best you can be! I love to eat healthy and nutritious meals, but I also love to drink wine and cocktails and eat burgers and chocolate chip cookies.
As a nutrition coach, no foods are off limits with my clients. I give them a set target of macros to hit each day and they can eat all of their favorite foods to hit those targets. I love watching them add their previously “off limits” foods like potato chips, chocolate chips, and cheese into their meals in moderation. I went through this same transition and my life is so much richer now that I feel free from restriction.
With exercise, I’m never in the gym for over 45 minutes because I don’t like to be there that long. I love short, quick and intense workouts that make me feel energized and ready to tackle the day! In the past, I used to slave on the elliptical and treadmill for hours on end and I was afraid to pick up any weights. Now, I’m all about lifting weights and spending no more than 20 minutes on the treadmill. I have a balance with food and exercise that makes me happy and healthy!
What are some of the challenges/struggles you’ve had to overcome?
After the incident when I was six years old, I was very lost and confused. At age 11, I developed depression and an eating disorder that completely disrupted my life for years. I had to learn how to eat again, which is something most people just know how to do intuitively. My adolescence was incredibly tough. I went through several bouts of restricting my intake and binging and purging all while trying to pretend everything was okay for my friends and family. I took a lot of blame for the incident when I was six and my own issues and fell into a huge downward spiral where I didn’t see any value in living my life. It was during college when I really started rebuilding and creating a relationship with myself. I finally admitted to myself that I was sexually abused and started to understand my past and why I behaved the ways I did. I was able to forgive myself, and start loving myself. My life has flourished since.
What’s something you wish you could tell your younger self?
Oh gee, so many things. To be honest, I think if I had told these things to myself, I still wouldn’t have listened because I’ve learned over the years that I only learn when I make my own mistakes. That said, I would tell myself to focus on loving myself and making that my number one priority in life. If I had loved myself more when I was younger, I wouldn’t have created the self-destructive behaviors that became a norm for me. When you love yourself, you don’t have to worry about anything coming in your way because you trust that you will handle it and get through it.
How do you think blogging & social media have changed the way you think about health? How do you think it’s influenced others?
I love being a part of the blogging community. I’ve met some dear friends and I’ve loved following the journeys of fellow bloggers over the years! The online community has been inspirational in terms of new recipes, new workouts and fun things to try, but I stay true to my happy balance, so I never feel pressured to try the new trend.
When I first started blogging way back in the day, I would feel anxious that I wasn’t doing the newest diet fad, workout or doing what “this blogger” was doing. But once I started to feel more comfortable in my lifestyle and routine, those things didn’t phase me anymore. I think it’s great to read blogs and be a part of the community but to not let it consume you and dictate how you live your life.
What resources would you share with people learning how to eat intuitively, love their body, and focus on their health?
- Marc & Angel Hack Life – great for self-love
- The Real Life RD – awesome for learning how to rebuild a healthy relationship with food and exercise
- Hummusapien, Fit Foodie Finds, Cotter Crunch, RachLMansfield, tons of amazing recipes